Friday, May 31, 2013
As they say, time waits for no man. Sometimes we want time to just wait a minute or hurry up already but I think time in it's continuous state is a blessing. Time keeps us moving ahead and if we fall into a rut, then it is our fault.
May has been a 50/50 month for me. The first two weeks were full of rest and sickness. It was not easy to stay in when the weather was perfect outside. 'Be still and know that I am God' is a life verse of mine that reminds me that my trials are part of His plan and it will pass. The last two weeks of May have been full of outings, whether it has been appointments or time with friends. I've literally been so busy, I don't know how I've kept up with myself. God has renewed my strength and I'm ready to bloom in June.
Ben Franklin said, 'You may delay but time will not.' I encourage you to think about your decisions you've put off till tomorrow. 'If we wait until we're ready, we will be waiting the rest of our lives.'
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Well my friend, Lesley, who is a missionary in Africa has been here for a few weeks. Last night, we got to visit with one another and go out for dinner. It was good to be well enough to enjoy some time together during her brief furlough.
We never know when or if we will see each other again here on earth. 'It's a God thing' to know we are both saved and will someday meet again in heaven. There are no goodbyes for Christians but instead a see you later mentality. Jesus said, 'I've gone to prepare a place for you.' We trust in His promises and in there lies our eternal hope.
Lesley's call to do Bible translation for the Glaro people takes great sacrifice on both her and her family's part. As I sing Scott Wesley Brown's song, 'Please Don't Send Me to Africa', I often wonder how she can do it.
''Please don't send me to Africa
I don't think I've got what it takes
I'm just a man,I'm not a Tarzan
Don't like lions, gorillas or snakes
I'll serve you here in suburbia
In my comfortable middle class life
But please don't send me out into the bush
Where the natives are restless at night''
I am thankful that there are people, like Lesley, who are willing to give up the comfortable American life to share the Good News with people at the far ends of the world.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Well this isn't a picture of the neighborhood hog but it has the same markings just on a bigger scale. We haven't seen the hog since Easter and we have thought for sure that he had been eaten. It's just a habit to look over to his pen and scan the area with your eyes searching for him. Well today I saw him laying in the shade. HE'S ALIVE!!! I was so excited. I know it may seem silly but he's just part of the neighborhood.
I think this can remind us to never lose hope. We may think all is lost and things are over but we only see a glimpse of the big picture. We must pray even when we don't see them answered. We must believe in things we yet can see. We must trust in the One greater than ourselves. Then we will be amazed by His mercies and faithfulness in our daily lives.
Monday, May 27, 2013
Charlene and I went to Riverfest last night to see and hear our friends, REAL Entertaining, perform on the Yarnell's stage. They did a great job and the rain didn't phase them at all. Each of the girls play four different instruments each and like pros I must say.
As I said, it did rain but we were able to seek shelter in a nearby tent. We met some nice people under there and this Riverfest was the calmest I've ever been to.
My dad provided us with his shuttle service to get there so we could avoid parking hassles. As he dropped us off at 2nd and Scott streets, the parking attendant offered to let us park inside the blocked off perimeter. How nice was that! I kind of wish Riverfest was four days so I could go enjoy a little more of it.
I guess this is a post in reverse format..... and that's that.
Sunday, May 26, 2013
How far from Thee are we as a nation? As we remember the ones who have given some or all for our freedom, we should also pray for our leaders and nation. As Lincoln said, 'It's not whether God is on our side but rather are we on God's side?' Our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should still align with God's will. America is the home of the brave and land of the free, but are we brave enough to protect this land from Satan's influences? Is the America you grew up in going to be the same one for your grandchildren to thrive in?
One day, EVERY knee shall bow so why wait? Prayer is powerful and our nation needs a power surge. 'When life gives you more than you can stand.. kneel.'
Friday, May 24, 2013
As I read this caption, I think 'I wish I may, I wish I might but it is so often not my plight.' Oh to be full of grace is such a lofty goal that reminds me of how short I fall. Can I really maintain grace in all four areas at once?
A mind of grace can help control our thoughts. Do we consider the journey of someone else before we judge them? Do we think WWJD...what would Jesus do.. in all situations? Is ours a world view or Christ view to life's questions? Think about it.
A heart of grace loves unconditionally. Do you show love to others without any expectations in return? You can't love God and harbor resentment for your neighbor. 'Love one another' is a command, not an option.
A voice of grace encourages others. What we say can be as sweet as honey or as sour as vinegar so we should taste our words before we let them out.
A hand of grace always helps others up and never pushes them down. Even if your hands can't do much like mine, they still can find a way to help others in some way. We are given two hands, one to help ourselves and one to help others.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound..... in our minds, hearts, voices and hands. May we orchestrate them all in ourselves to please the Lord.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Who else feels like they are down to their last roll of film? I've always had a good memory for things but I've recently been put to the challenge with it. My friends are doing a Psalm 119 memory challenge for the summer and I decided to join them in it. I'm not a scripture memorizing person so this is a stretch for me. Let alone, Psalm 119 is the longest psalm in the Bible. I thought I was making good progress with having my 1-5 verses down pat, until my 4yr old friend recited the 1-8 verses to me at church last night. Yes, I think I need more film..ha.
We remember what is important to us. Memorized verses can calm our doubts when fear strikes because they are stored in our hearts. I encourage you to spend some time in the Word and see your negatives develop into something beautiful.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Yesterday my dad and I had gone to get my new braces and then went to Tutti Frutti afterwards. Oh my goodness, the candy bar smash flavor is like a Snickers ice cream. I totally recommend it. So upon leaving, we were in the middle of JFK Blvd waiting on the oncoming traffic so we could turn left. Suddenly a speeding sports car ran the red light with no braking hesitation. 'It was a God thing' that the right of way car was not pulled out and hit severely. We would've been hit too from the flying parts or the vehicles themselves.
God's protection over us is ever-present. Sometimes we see it first hand and think 'whew, that was close' and other times we don't even know what nearly hit us. May we always be thankful that He's got the whole world in His hands and that includes you and me.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
When I sing the song, 'Make Me A Servant' there is no intention or hidden desire in me to be a waitress. I give a salute to the people who do this job with a smile, a good attitude and a desire to please the customer. Often the waiter gets the brunt of the complaints whether its their fault or not and that takes alot of grace to endure. Could you take it?
'A person who is nice to you but rude to the waitress, is not a nice person.' Sometimes our short attention span and 'immediate' needs demands can make us treat those serving us like second class citizens. The restaurant problems are often managerial issues so just go to the top and ask for a manager.
Be generous in your tips to show your appreciation for good service. Waiters work hard and should be rewarded accordingly. It goes the other way too for bad service.
Thank you to my favorite waiters and waitresses at my favorite restaurants around town.... you serve me well.
Monday, May 20, 2013
And so I did! Today was a jackpot day of good deals at JCPenney's and Kohls. As my dad said, the best part was that I was able to be out, breathe good and enjoy the shopping myself. Maybe being cooped up for 16 days led me to go a little crazy but I bought for others too.
Also today my goodie box came in the mail. If you don't know about this program, it's 7/month for a box of food sample surprises. This was my first box to receive and I've been looking forward to its arrival. What was in the box? Coconut water, sour patch straws, pumpkin seeds, raspberry chipolte sauce, olive oil, white bean chips, and a guacamole coupon. Walmart is testing new items before stocking their shelves with these new items and ask for feedback on the samples. I think it's pretty cool.
Sure I like getting new stuff but it's not my treasure. What doesn't rot, will rust or burn or be eaten by moths.....so enjoy it but don't store up treasures here on earth.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
I have wondered before if people might think I'm anorexic because of my petite size. Yes, that's about as much thought as I've wasted on such things. Anyone who truly knows me, knows my appetite is healthy, frequent and more than 3x a day satisfied. My diet is one of small meals often. They say it is a healthier way to eat but it is more my metabolism that drives me. Just breathing for me can burn up as many of my calories, as fast as yours can running around the track.
So this post isn't about eating habits but about judging others. 'Do not judge by appearances; a rich heart may be under a poor coat.' Faith alone points us more to what is unseen than to what we do see. Isn't that true with people too? 'We tend to judge others by their behavior, and ourselves by our intentions.' Hmm, if that's not tipping the scales in our favor I don't know what is?
Whatever it is.... shape, size, color, wealth, status, etc..... you are not the judge, jury or executioner. Why not? You're not perfect either. A friend loveth at all times, all ways and all circumstances. Love not judge and there will be no grudge.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
STOP, right now and right where you are and tell God one thing you are grateful at this very moment. This should be a habit several times a day in your daily life. Worry stops us in our tracks and we don't even realize how much time and joy it steals from us. How about generating some praise worthy thoughts back to God?
'If we are not grateful for what we have, then what makes us think we'd be happier with more?'
It's like the story of the 3 men given talents/money, did they make more with it or hoard it for themselves and reap nothing?
'Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.' Yes, God knows your heart without words but doesn't He deserve your time and spoken thoughts? Start each day with a grateful heart and throw in a few 'thank You' pit stops too.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Each one of us were made in Christ's image and that makes us each special in our own way. It is a real heartache to me to see people think lowly of themselves and then surround themselves with people who add to that negativity. It's a vicious cycle with no good end. What we believe about ourselves will show thru in our attitudes, actions, and how we handle life itself.
People have often asked me, 'what pushed you to do what you've done?' I think the bottom line is expectations. I didn't ever think of myself as any different than Sally or Suzy growing up. Therefore, my self esteem didn't crutch itself with my physical limitations. There is only one 'Angie' to make the life she wants so no one will ever steal that confidence or leave a negative vibe that sustains.
What are some keys to self esteem? Surround yourself with positive friends and environments. Think less of what others opinions are and rely more on your own moral compass. Accept compliments with grace. Don't compare yourself with others.
'Your best may not be the best, but if it's your best, then that's good enough.' Ephesians 2;10 ''For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.''
Thursday, May 16, 2013
As you think of and pray for the North Texas tornado victims of last night, do you consider how you would handle such devastation? For most, it was just physical lost coupled with memories. Would you just be grateful that your life was the only thing spared? Is that enough to you?
All that we have is God's first. We are given the responsibility to care for what we have been allotted in this life but that doesn't make it more of ours than God's. If something is taken from us, there is a purpose to it even when we don't understand why. Is your trust in God thru all things infallible? Will you praise Him in the hurt as well as in the joy?
Life is a balance of gives and takes but do you say 'blessed be His name' in all of it? 'When all the world should be as it should be' and 'when the darkness closes in', what will your heart choose to say both? Isaiah 26;3 ''You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.''
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
One of the most popular tv episodes of the past used to be Oprah's Favorite Things. Yes, it showed the newest high-end products available with no conservative pricing. You could have it if you were willing to pay the price.
What is even better than that to me is to be surprised by a friend for no reason with one of your favorite things. This is what happened to me last night when my friend, Maru, dropped by with her very special homemade flan for me. It's like mexican cheesecake but lighter and fluffier than regular cheesecake, and easier for me to eat. I LOVE IT and I might be part mexican since guacamole is in my list of favorites too. 'It's a God thing' when friends think of you, do things for you and pray for you. Oh, to be blessed beyond measure. To have friends that show their love of God to me in their own way is humbling and priceless. May I be as generous in returning the love and gratitude.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Being cooped up for the eleventh day from being sick calls for a little step out into the sun. We went out to soak up a few rays of vitamin D and injest some vitamin C with peach popsicles. Yes, Jack helped me finish mine off. It doesn't beat Blue Bell for him, but it still cools him off.
Today was a day of inquisition from a caseworker with probing health questions. You need to have a strong constitution of knowing who you are beyond your body's abilities. My strength is in my soul, not in this vessel of a body. The attitude in which we respond to our weaknesses will reveal where true strength exists or is lacking. Questions like 'am I violent?' or 'throw things?' just make me laugh. If I did throw the remote, I'd still want it brought back to me and that might just prove to be a little difficult...ha.
Whatever your dealing with, there is a spot of sunshine to be found but you must do the looking. Misery 'is' what you make of it. You can wallow in it, swallow it, or spit it out. My trials will not last and one day will even cease to exist...now there's faith, hope, and love.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Here is my new knockout rose garden outside my door. There are three pink knockout rose bushes with two other plants I had that are more visible now after being transplanted here. I do not have a green thumb so hopefully it won't be an ever changing flower bed. My dad put alot of hard work into this so I hope the roses will last as long as the previous 30yr old ugly bushes did.
Am I to worry over their fate or mine? Luke 12:27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.'' We are all designed, created and cared for by God every day. We may have our droopy days but the Son will shine on us and revive us again. Let us nourish ourselves with the Word, join together in fellowship with others and bloom brightly for Him.
'Be the rose. Bloom. Spread Beauty. Be a Good Bud. Grow Gracefully, Spread Sweetness.'
Sunday, May 12, 2013
'One day a year is simply not enough to show any person his or her value in our sight. Our mothers should know that they can count on our unconditional love, our listening ear when they offer guidance, and our sympathy when they express needs. Let’s make every day a mother’s day.'
Happy Mother's Day to my mom with pictures of before I was blessed with you. Sometimes we need reminded of the little girl inside the mom and hope that all her dreams have and will come true. 'Being a mom is a sacred partnership with God.' A godly foundation will support a mom through all the meals to be made, the laundry to be done, and all the chaos of being a mom. I love you, Mom.
|Bobbie, Ollie, Robbie|
|Nancy, Ann, John|
Roy, Ollie, Syble, Morene
Robbie, Bobbie, Patty [out of view]
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Well it's that time of year again when my freckles show up with the sun. Freckles are just melanocytes that produce pigment and are bunched together, rather than being spread evenly on the skin. Maybe we notice them more as we trade in our long sleeve shirts for short sleeved ones. Some people think they're cute on a speckled pup but a beauty flaw on their own skin. I say it's a matter of perspective and beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Who decided Cindy Crawford's mole on her face was a 'beauty mark'?
What bothers you will manifest itself into a needless worry and distraction. How many lemons have been used to lighten our freckles? It is what it is, so let them highlight your natural beauty. Just as the stars give a twinkle to the night sky, let your freckles give an inner sparkle from within you.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Oh, how we only want to see the good times and shut our eyes to the bad times. They both work together for our good. Either way, they revive something inside of us that we've overlooked or taken for granted.
'Like a plant that starts up in showers and sunshine and does not know which has best helped it to grow, it is difficult to say whether the hard things or the pleasant things did me the most good.'
My friend said that although she hates that I've been sick all week, that she thinks my blog writings have been better. Yes, my down week has provided me with more time for food for thought. Isn't that where God wants our minds to be....on Him, not the world. 'Be still and know that I'm your God' takes alot of patience and surrendering. Knowing 'this too shall pass' keeps you in the race and pushes you to the finish line.
The hardships of today point us to our need for a Savior and the good times remind us of our Provider. 'All things work together for good for those who love the Lord.' Be thankful in all circumstances for the purpose may go unseen to you but it is still there being fulfilled.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
This is my 35 year old cactus flower bike. I think I've been on wheels since before I can remember. I rode this one from age 6 to 14 or so. It used to have one of those tall orange flags tied to the back so that people could see me better. I think a bike is one of our very first experiences with independence. I loved this bike and it has held up pretty well. An advantage of being an only child is that we kept alot of my childhood memory items.
I asked my dad to spruce up my old bike so that the kids that visit over here can enjoy fun rides, like I once did. Joy comes from sharing our possessions with others. Whether old or new, pay it forward in some way and you'll be blessed as well.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
God often leads us to places and information for future use because He knows where our life road leads to before we do.
When I was about 13, my mom took me to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. People from all over the world go there for expert medical advice and research. I was the prime candidate to send for help with our hereditary neuromuscular disease, CMT. As they ran different diagnostic tests, they also gave advice for my future needs. 'It was a God thing' that they told me about the postural drainage method of coughing. It is a way of positioning yourself on your belly on the bed and letting your shoulders and arms hang off the end of the bed. The key is letting gravity do the work that the muscles can't. So back then, it was info to be filed away in my memory file. Yet, over the past 15-plus years, it has been life-saving info that is rarely spoken of by respiratory therapists. I'm often the show-n-tell show when I'm in the hospital to demonstrate their textbook knowledge.
The Bible is our place of information given to us that foretells what the future holds. Are you using that resource to prepare for your destiny or is it just filed away for that emergency moment of need? 'When you know better, you do better.'
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Have you ever stopped to think about things you've worried about in the past? Did things not turn out for good, even if the journey wasn't easy? 'Worry is a misuse of imagination.' I know I've thought of the craziest what-if scenarios but you can go insane with that kind of thinking.
'Worry is a burden God never meant for us to bear.' He wants us to hand it over to Him because He is the controller over each of our worlds. Worry is a cycle to nowhere. 'What worries you masters you.'
Nothing in life is final, except death. You can rebuild, you can try again, or change your ways but there are second chances out there. If there is one thing to truly worry about then it's your eternal destiny. If you are unsure or following wrong ideas, then you need to shine some Light into that shadow. People often do sweat the small stuff but put off thoughts that truly matter. Worry, like when you're in a hurry, leads only to a scurry and a fury.
Worry will steal your joy and keep you busy doing nothing. Worry will also keep you preoccupied in a holding pattern until you see what God had planned all along.
Monday, May 6, 2013
The storms of life will come and we must endure it until it passes. It is not fun but it is often a teachable moment for those with malleable hearts and minds.
Bowing your head is a sign of humble respect to the Lord. It's a posture that demonstrates a need for a Comforter that is greater than ourselves. It says I need help and I can't get through this alone.
Saying a prayer is our plead to the Lord to meet our desperate needs. He will often calm the storm or calm you to get through it. Your prayer requests never go unheard but the answer depends on His timing and will for you.
Weather the storm because His mercies are new everyday. Come rain or shine in your life, there is purpose in everything. How you handle your storms is an example to many. Are you thunder and lightning or are you making lemonade with your lemons?
Gary Allan sings it best, 'Every storm runs out of rain, just like every dark nite turns into day. Every heartache will fade away, just like every storm runs, runs outa rain.'
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Well this has been my week for homemade bread. Yes, lucky me. I've had 3 friends bring 3 different kinds of bread they made to me. Louise made sourdough bread, Charity made dinner bread, and Maru made banana bread. I'm not usually a big bread eater but homemade bread is a whole different story. I am eating it daily...yummo.
As much as the homemade bread makes me feel full, it will never nourish me enough. Our daily bread is the Bible/The Word and will satisfy our souls. What does it feel like to be hungry for The Word? You may feel lost without direction, depressed with the world's situation, or needing words of praise.
I use the devotional, Our Daily Bread, every day. It's a short and concise story backed up by a Bible verse. It is enough to give you a thought to ponder for the day. It also directs your mind towards God, instead of the world.
Feed your mind and soul as much as your stomach and then you'll have a perfect diet.
Lord, I meditate on Your precepts and contemplate
Your ways. I delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your Word. Open my eyes that
I may see wondrous things from Your law. [odb.org]
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Charlene and I had a great night at the Fleetwood Mac concert last night. Let me share some of the highlights with you.
My dad drove us and dropped us off and picked us up. It makes it alot easier on me and saves us from the hassles of parking. Anyways on the way there, we were at the Kiehl/107 light. I looked across and said there's Charity and family. We waved, honked, flashed the lights, stuck an arm out the window and no response. Are they blind? As we passed the truck, they looked at us like we were aliens. We said it wasn't them and laughed so hard.
Okay so we get there and our seats are perfect. It started about 20min late but that's okay. They played my favorite songs [Landslide, Silver Spring], some I really like [Gypsy, Stand Back, You Can Go Your Own Way n more] and some I'd never heard before. I wanted to do spins in my chair during Gypsy but I refrained. This show was from 815 to 11-something with no intermission and I love that. Lindsey [guitar] and Mick [drums] were like Energizer bunnies on their instruments. Their solos were incredible.
The Clintons were in town and they were in a box seat across from us. I know, big whoop, but I thought I'd mention it.
I give thanks that my sinus drainage held off long enough for me to enjoy a great party night of music with my best friend, Charlene. Thanks to my dad for a great Christmas gift and bonus taxi service.
Friday, May 3, 2013
Oh, if we could all have this in our daily lives. Some captions convict me more than others and this one hits home.
Exodus 10:20 ''But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.'' We do not want to be arrogant and say we will follow the Lord's will and then turn back to our self desires. Are we repeat offenders like Pharoah? I think often so and then we have to deal with the consequences. May our hearts never harden so that we can't hear God's voice in our ear and ignore His will.
Okay, here is the hardest of the three to me. I don't really have a short temper but often too quick of a reaction. I try to remember how patient God is with me, when I'm about to blow a fuse but it's not a no-fail system. May we always give more grace than is needed.
I watched a movie the other day where the guy was in big trouble with his job and said he said, 'I just hafta hit something.... so he hit the chair.' We should never take our anger out on anyone physically or emotionally. May your touch be soft as a feather and we will never cause harm.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
I love to visit with people. I like to hear their stories and share mine. I would love to do more of it if I could. My greatest hindrance is accessibility into people's homes so I often have to have them come to my place. It works out for the people willing to show up over here but I'd like to just do a drop by visit myself once in a while.
I even had a job interview in Chicago once where I couldn't get in the building. I called and had the interview in the van. What would you guess my chances of getting that job were? ha.
There is one place I can always go without any help and that's to God's throne. He is always accessible. My only hindrance is myself. I just have to take the time to show up for prayer time with Him. It's true, prayer is the biggest help to others and to me.
Psalm 61;1-3 ''Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.''
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
'Do not look at the mountain but to the One who moves the mountain.' That is how I try to see my different problems that I face everyday and 'its a God thing'. Only through God as my foundation can I stand up thru the swaying winds of the world and it's strife.
We all encounter problems from every direction, but 'do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.' John 14;27 Whether we have a breeze or a tornado of trouble, God has allowed it in our lives to show or teach us something.
I'm not going to pick out one problem of mine to use as an example because they all make me stronger and more humble each day. 'Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.' My reality is that my God is bigger than all my problems combined.